E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
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July 5, 2012


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Letter from the Editor
This Week's Edition of AOA E&O Prevention 

Table of Contents     


U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform

By Howard J. Franco, Jr., Esq. & Eric Brown, Esq.


Federal Court Sides With Insurers in IndyMac and D&O Dispute

By Ivan Dolowich, Esq., Kevin Mattessich, Esq., Patrick Kennell, Esq, and Bryce Guingrich, Esq. 


Vermont Joins Growing Number of States Restricting Use of Credit Checks for Employment Purposes

By Susan M. Corcoran, Esq. and Richard I. Greenberg, Esq


Texas Supreme Court Adopts the "Learned Intermediary Doctrine" in Prescription Drug Cases

By John Henderson, Esq., Sean Higgins, Esq. & Bryan Pollard, Esq


We also would like to extend an invitation for you to join AOA's LinkedIn group at AGENTS OF AMERICA. Also our affiliated Insurance Open Network, a LinkedIn open networking group for all insurance professionals.

AgentsofAmerica.ORG has partnered with WebCE, a leading nationwide provider of Continuing Education for insurance professionals, to provide you with state-approved self-study CE courses to satisfy your CE requirements online! Check out your CE State Requirements.

Also available is our most recent edition of "AOA Tips, Views, News & More," including our new feature "Insurance Resources." Remember to tell your friends and business associates that membership in AgentsofAmerica.ORG is FREE! Also if you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions, please email me at info@agentsofamerica.org.   

"Bringing the Best Together"

Brit Weimer 



AOA News, Views, Tips & More


Strategic Insurance Tip  

By Andrew Barile of Andrew Barile Consulting Corporation, Inc.  
The Role of the Strategic Insurance Advisory Director to Supplement the Global Captive Management Service Provider 


Captive insurance companies owned by single parent corporations, associations, insurance agencies and insurance companies are expanding by providing new insurance solutions way beyond traditional insurance. The captive owner needs to supplement the traditional services of the captive manager with a Strategic Insurance Advisory Director focused on enhancing the value of the captive insurance company.

In successful captive insurance companies, the routine services of risk retention, capital adequacy, underwriting profit margins and insurance strategy performed by the captive management companies need to be supplemented by Strategic Insurance Advisory Directors. Directors retained by captive owners.

Strategic Insurance Advisory Directors focused on increasing shareholder value of the captive insurance company by:

(1)  having experience in drafting and determining significant profit margins in new direct procurement insurance policies for the captive;

(2)   structuring capital contribution back to the owners of the captive insurance company;

(3) structuring and negotiating sophisticated reinsurance agreements provided by the global reinsurance market;

(4)  with some captive managers using only 450 people to manage 1300 insurance captives, the Strategic Insurance Advisory Director needs to monitor the captive manager; and

(5)  enhancing value of the captive insurance company by supplementing the administration and accounting services of the captive manager. 

Captive Owners Need to Explore the Advantages of Ulitilizing the Experienced Strategic Insurance Advisory Director


Contact Andrew Barile, MBA, CPCU abarile@abarileconsult.com - (619) 507-035 -





The One Email Rule You Absolutely Can't Break
By Mark Hunter the "Sales Hunter" 


More and more email is being viewed on smart phones, and that means people are typically spending less time deciding if they want to even open the email.


The criteria for opening the email, of course, starts with who it is from.

What is most important right after that?


The subject line and whatever part of the body of the email will appear on their phone screen.


For this reason, the one email rule I believe you absolutely shouldn't break is a subject line and first sentence that are no more than 75 characters.


Sure, each smart phone displays things differently, but my point is if you don't grab the person's attention quickly, you likely will miss the one chance you have.


When you are looking at what to put in the first 75 or fewer characters, I say don't waste any space in the body of the email repeating what you put in the subject line. When you repeat the subject line, you're wasting more than just space - you are wasting the person's time.


What you do want to do is begin to engage the person and start sharing either a sense of urgency or a benefit.


I realize you can't get all of that done in 75 characters, but you want to give them enough that encourages them to open the email to read the rest of it.

After you write an email, take a look at both the title and the first sentence or two and ask yourself if they are compelling enough for the person to want to open it?


The reason I'm big on this is because people use their smart phones to check email far differently than they check email when sitting at their desk. I'll use myself as an example.


When I'm checking email on my iPhone, I'm looking for reasons to delete messages. I'm much more lenient on what I delete versus reading. When I'm at my desk, I'm more likely to read an email because of the larger screen and the preview screen I use on Outlook.


I don't have studies to back up my theory about the 75 characters or less figure, but based on my own experience and watching others, I know that people use their smart phone to delete emails and their laptops to read emails. And more and more people are using their smart phone as their primary email screening tool.


The sooner you invest in yourself, the sooner you'll be on your way to improving your prospecting and selling skills!


Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter," is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability. For more information, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on his Facebook Fan Page, or call 402.45.2110. -Mark@TheSalesHunter.com


Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter." Sales Motivation Blog.



Social Media Tip  

By Cynthia Cavoto of Firebrand Social Media.


Five Things SMM (Social Media Marketing) IS!


What's Social Media Marketing?


As SMM is various things to various people, for business success with SMM, a few social media components are crucial. Therefore, what is SMM?


SMM is Community


Firstly, SMM is community. Therefore, building your strategy for SMM requires that you build up something which appears more as if it's a friendship than a commercial relationship. Within my study on commercial relationships, I discovered common aspects of a commercial 'friendship' included: collaboration, empathy, reciprocity, trust and self-disclosure. Notice, those aspects appear entirely different from conventional advertising.


Be REAL in social media and let your hair down. Do not automate posts and do not just share content concerning the company. Share yourself with others.


SMM is All about Creating Value


Conventional advertising concerns developing action, desire, interest and awareness. Done properly, conventional advertising additionally develops positive sentiment concerning the brand.


Social media concerns developing value to customers. However, how do you develop value above solving consumer issues with your goods? Relieve their discomfort in additional ways. For example, you could share deals and discounts which decrease the price of your goods. However, you could go beyond this simplistic marketing instrument to develop even greater value. Delta reads Tweets from consumers and offers service to passengers who are displaced. Best Buy funnels installation questions to idle workers. Dove develops a campaign to assist women in feeling good about themselves whether they do or don't look like a supermodel.


The important thing here includes understanding your consumers and hearing them - something different from conventional media.


SMM is Tweaking and Testing


SMM involves a lot more than fooling around on Twitter or Facebook. Successful SMM strategies heavily rely on algorithms, testing, research, and analytics. Absolutely, creating excellent content is CRITICAL, yet there is a lot more involved in creating excellent content - it isn't like journalism in which the WHOLE concentration is on good writing and investigation.


It's the difficult part of SMM - researching competitors, topics, as well as target markets; monitoring analytics such as Edgerank (Facebook) to view how your market is responding to your content; A/B testing various copy and comprehending algorithms which decide whether anybody can LOCATE your content.


The difficult part side of SMM is actually the heart and soul of SMM.


SMM is less about TALKING and More about LISTENING


Responding and listening to people in social media, particularly influencers, is A LOT more vital than talking. Plus, if somebody talks about something negative concerning the brand - allow them to. Do not attempt to quiet them or drown them out. Confess your errors and share measures you have taken to mend them and your critics are going to become your FANS.


SMM is all about giving, and NOT Selling


  • Reward people for positive mentioning of the brand and they will likely repeat it.
  • Make it simple for people to share content.
  • Thank folks for sharing the content.
  • 'Like' the content developed by other people, even if it directly does not address your brand.
  • Pay it forward.
  • Offer folks something just for listening.
  • Do not always require that you get something prior to you being willing to give something.


Therefore, write excellent content and give it for free - and this does not mean visitors ought to be overwhelmed with demands to join the mailing list or purchase affiliate products as they read your content. I find it especially irritating when site owners embed affiliate links inside the center of their content - then I will not share it or go back to read additional posts.


Generously give to worthwhile causes. One outstanding example includes the way Facebook partnered recently with organ donation in order to make it simple for people to sign up as an organ donor.


This month's EBook is entitled, "Twitter and Facebook's Influence on SEO"


Each month, we will feature a brand new Social Media EBook that contains valuable information on how you can harness the power of social media. Each featured EBook will contain a wealth of information that will include such topics as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Email and Blogging to name a few. Contact Cynthia at cynthia@agentsofamerica.org. or cynthia@firebrandsocialmedia.com

article1U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform
By Howard J. Franco, Jr., Esq. & Eric Brown, Esq.


A sharply divided United States Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  In a 5-4 decision primarily authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court held that the mandate for individuals to secure health care coverage or pay a penalty as part of their income tax obligations was a permissible use of Congressional authority under the taxation clause of the United States Constitution. National Federation of Independent Businesses, et. al. v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 576 U.S. _____ (2012).












articletwoFederal Court Sides With Insurers in IndyMac and D&O Dispute By Ivan Dolowich, Esq., Kevin Mattessich, Esq., Patrick Kennell, Esq, and Bryce Guingrich, Esq. 


A federal District Court in California yesterday handed a major victory to the D&O insurers of failed bank IndyMac in a coverage dispute with the mortgage giant's former directors and officers. XL Specialty Insurance Co. v. Michael Perry (No. 1-02078-RGK (C.D. Cal. June 27, 2012)).

The Court's ruling reinforces the strength of the "interrelated wrongful acts" limitation in claims-made policies, and it emphasizes there is only a "subtle" difference in the practical operation of the prior notice exclusion contained in most D&O liability insurance policies.






Firebrand Social Media   





articlethreeVermont Joins Growing Number of States Restricting Use of Credit Checks for Employment Purposes 
By Susan M. Corcoran, Esq. and Richard I. Greenberg, Esq 

Effective July 1, 2012, Vermont joins California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington as jurisdictions that restrict an employer's right to obtain and use credit information for making employment decisions. Similar legislation is pending in many other jurisdictions. Further, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been contemplating issuance of a restrictive guidance on this subject.




article4Texas Supreme Court Adopts the "Learned Intermediary Doctrine" in Prescription Drug Cases  
By John Henderson, Esq., Sean Higgins, Esq. & Bryan Pollard, Esq




In a far-reaching decision that will benefit prescription drug manufacturers, the Texas Supreme Court, in Centocor, Inc. v. Hamilton, No. 10-0223 (Tex. June 8, 2012), adopted the "learned intermediary doctrine." The court held that a prescription drug manufacturer fulfills its duty to warn an end user by providing the prescribing physician with an adequate warning. The court declined the invitation to create an exception for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising.

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